The Proper Use Of Impressions: Desire Vs. Aversion

In this dialogue, Epictetus is talking to me about the need to work on the proper use of impressions. He is elaborating on Virtue as good and the practice we call a good life.

Epictetus: I wish you would stop reading and writing about philosophy and just live it.

Me: I am doing it. But I am a little sketchy on a few points.

E: It is easier to act on aversion and more complex to act on desire. You can see the problem more clearly when you act on aversion. You already have some habits that will help you change.

M: Common sense, the same kind of sense that makes it a practice to live the ‘good life’. It is better to do this than to write or talk or read about it. But I am not sure if I understand when to start acting on desire as a good habit.

E: That is difficult until you become proficient at living rather than study. As we build stronger and better habits, we learn what we need to do or be. We need to work on desire once we do enough to think more deeply about our life and therefore build more complex habits.

M: So, when I stopped on aversions to me like eating junk food, sugar, alcohol, meat: these bad habits taught me about aversion. But when I took supplements, the desire taught me when they became adverse and I stopped doing it.

E: I guess you are right. But the habits get harder the worse the habit. Sometimes the habits is designed around thought loops that obscure your awareness and will make action improper or confusing at best.

But as we get more grey with our thinking we can illuminate or become more aware of our reality and learn to help ourselves, family and friends. But it is too difficult to help much more than this in one life.

M: I am looking at what I want out of life. The consequences are of the utmost importance to me. I am deciding what is best. How to be or do the best I can.

E: Yes, and that is all any of us can do. Try to do it as much as you can. It is a good life, legacy, it is virtue.

M: You make a good teacher. I am grateful for your help in clearing up these questions of mine.

E: Do me a favor and get on with it as much as you dare. You can help me a lot more than you know. Be a good person, relative or friend.

Mastering Impressions

Remember that first impression, it’s hard to do.

It’s effortless, but not instant.

Why? Because it is a kind of ‘love’.

The philosophy behind any great impression is always hard won.

It’s never a matter of luck.

It’s new, it’s part of you.

You just made it, but it took your whole life (up to that point) to do.

A Taoist or Stoic Approach To Fear

Philosophy, applied with good practice can heal all wounds.

Perhaps, it is safer to say that Taoism and Stoicism have much in common and both approach the practice of overcoming or ‘dancing with fear’ (by Paul Foxman) in much the same manner.

To build a practice which will benifit the practitioner is best.

The Taoist uses central or core principles like ‘compassion, simplicity and patience’.

Specifically, it is best to follow what science can prove is best.

The lizard brain is practicing fight and flight all the time in a black and white way.

We can over ride this part of our brain as we become conscious of our fear and identify it specifically for our situation.

The frontal cortex allows us to make decisions in a much greyer or rational way.

We can also exercise our motivation to excite and engage our opportunities that are sometimes identified for us by our lizard brains or feelings of fear.

Most of us can identify with situations like procrastination, inability to commit, or a number of other common humanly problems that tend to create a fight or flight response.

Stoics are more akin to cognitive therapy which helps us build practices from which we are apt to build even bigger learning opportunities.

Philosophers like myself identify concepts like these and create an experiment of one to find skills that also mimic applied psychology or philosophy.

I suggest books like Dancing with Fear: Overcoming Anxiety in a World of Stress and Uncertainty by Paul Foxman and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu and Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus.

Sometimes, mistakes happen for a reason.

Sleep, exercise and eat…

Do these three things well.

Stop drinking coffee at noon.

Get to bed on time. That means sleeping at a set sleep time seven days a week.

Make the room dark.

Breath from your nose.

Mind follows body, to treat them both right, look after them both.

Do look after your state of mind, use mindful meditation on the regular basis, each day for the same time, seven days a week.

Move more, walk more, stand more, Keep moving to maintain a good energy level.

Eat well, lots of fiber, good microbes, do not smoke or drink, and keep recreational drugs out of the body. Stay off sugar, and alcohol and do not overuse anything.

It takes time to change, be determined to live a good life and do no harm.

What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?

Only a teacher (of some 35 years) would know ‘how’ to do it.

It, the thing you want to hold onto will be your life. Or at least in the broadest sense of the word.

People like parents, teachers, adults and others have the experience and detachment to know that no one can do this for you, but good people can support and guide you.

In this case, none other than a magnificent teacher and scholar will show you the way.

He is also famous, he may hold your attention long enough to send you off in the right direction.

If you are curious, watch the vid bellow.

It is about living your life: job, relationships, hobbies, interest, up and downs, coping with change, your life!

Morning Wakeup

Starting with a friendly sounding acoustic guitar…

Do a three minute stretch before getting out of bed.

Wash and shave, using the restroom as is your custom.

A fresh breakfast with hot cereal, hotter coffee and a journal entry as is my practice.

Perhaps a meditation before a good 5 minute dressing with complimentary stretches before putting on suitable outdoor wares for a walk or drive.

The weekend is here and there are many chores to complete this Mother’s Day weekend.

Least of which is a haircut from Jimmy’s Barber.

The Form Of Good: Beauty and Truth

To see inwardly and become aware of the moment will help one see truth and beauty.

But to really understand and research the idea, books ranging on many ideas are wanted and necessary to develop a probing interest towards intent and the meaning of living a good life without unnecessary expectation, pain and suffering, or unnecessary loss.

Most, believe in the ‘ups and downs’ of a good life.

Most, believe this because experience shows we can not control much of what goes on in the world.

Some, believe the good life is about seeing that ‘no harm’ and attending to the day to day is a good foundation.

Much is achieved in the world when people who essentially practice this ‘good life’ will cooperate and colaborate.

With some luck and good fortune, a life is a wonderful experience.

To use the ‘proper use of impressions’ are to live well and prosper.

‘Live Long And Prosper’

be prepared to give a few things a rest and live moderately,

be ready to fail and learn from small failures to overcome it,

be proactive and use your skills to practice the common sense in the list below,

be your best self….

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/top-10-ways-to-live-to-100-ageing

Good Sleep

My sleep session report from #pillow_app

Between 7 and 8 hours each night, gives the body time to rest and repair.

Some problems, like the cold or the flu take many days.

Sleep keeps the body prepared to do all the nightly functions like digestion and other activities we need to research and understand in order to optimize and use it properly.

Being organic and sensitive to many toxic chemicals and conditions in the environment, it is also necessary to study and discover better ways to protect and take care of this most valuable real-estate.

Being able to maintain a good balance in the mind and body may be the most important decision a person can make.

A good place to start is a regular night sleep, don’t let a myth like ‘only the weak sleep’, prevent the proper use of impressions.